METALS-Copper heads for first weekly rise in 5 weeks

Beckett Bronze Company was incorporated May 21, 1913 as the Delaware Brass and Aluminum Company by a group of stockholders which included John Beckett, a molder, and his son, Charles. Charles Beckett eventually bought out the other stockholders, including his father, and managed the company until his death in 1960.

Reuters Friday December 28, 2018 6:57 AM

(Updates with official prices) By Peter Hobson LONDON, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Copper looked set on Friday to post its first weekly gain in five weeks as a rebound on global equity markets revived interest in riskier assets and a weaker dollar made metal cheaper for buyers with other currencies.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) traded up 0.6 percent at $6,025 a tonne in official rings, putting it around 0.6 percent higher for the week.

Still, concerns over slowing economic growth in China, the biggest metals consumer, have left copper down 17 percent over the year as a whole.

“We have a weaker dollar and equities rebounding, and that’s likely lifting metals,” said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

But weaker Chinese demand for copper meant prices would likely remain around current levels through next year, he added.

CHINA ECONOMY: China’s manufacturing sector is expected to have contracted for the first time in more than two years in December, a poll found. Data this week showed earnings at Chinese industrial firms in November dropped for the first time in nearly three years. U.S.-CHINA TRADE: China and the United States plan face-to-face consultations on trade in January, the Chinese commerce ministry said. Worries that trade tariffs will curtail demand for metals have dragged prices lower this year. DOLLAR: The dollar has weakened from its recent 18-month high against a basket of major rivals, easing pressure on metal prices. INDEX REBALANCING: A rebalancing of asset allocations by benchmark indexes in early January will see significant buying of aluminium, zinc and Comex copper, analysts at Citi said in a note.

CHINA TC/RCs: China’s top copper smelters raised their floor treatment and refining charges for the first quarter of 2019 by 2.2 percent, sources said. Higher charges indicate a well-supplied copper concentrate market. CHILE COPPER: Chilean miner Collahuasi – which produced an estimated 545,000 tonnes of copper this year – has applied for an environmental permit to extend the life of its deposit with an estimated $3.2 billion investment. ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium traded up 0.3 percent at $1,856.50 a tonne but down 2.7 percent this week – the biggest weekly loss since October – after Russian producer Rusal agreed a deal to remove it from a U.S. sanctions list and appointed a new chairman. ALUMINIUM SPREAD: Cash aluminium flipped from a discount to a $14.75 a tonne premium over the three-month contract , likely signalling greater availability of nearby supplies. OTHER METALS: LME zinc traded flat at $2,494 a tonne. Nickel did not trade but was bid down 0.7 percent at $10,700, lead was bid 0.4 percent higher at $2,037 and tin was bid up 0.4 percent at $19,375.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Top base and precious metals analysis – GFMS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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